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GENERAL FEATURES, CLIMATE, &c.
So much attention has of late been directed to New Zealand, that it is hardly necessary to enter into a lengthened account of its early history and settlement, or to give a general description of the whole colony. The group of islands which constitute it were first discovered by the celebrated Dutch navigator, Tasman, in November, 1642, but although visited by Cook and other explorers, no attempts were made to colonise it until very nearly two centuries afterwards. New Zealand, it may be stated, is situated in the South Pacific, between 34° and 38° south lat., and between 160° and 179° east long. It is composed of three islands: the two larger ones are officially styled New Ulster and New Munster, but are better known as the North and Middle Islands; whilst the smaller one, officially designated New Leinster, is generally called Stewart's Island. The two former have as yet alone been regularly colonised. The extreme length from north to south exceeds 1,100 miles; its breadth varies from 300 to 10 miles, although from 100 to 120 is about the average. The two larger islands are separated by Cook's Straits, so called in honour of the celebrated navigator; and Stewart's is divided from the Middle Island by Foveaux Straits. The Northern Island contains an area of about 31,174,000 acres, the Middle about 46,126,800, and Stewart's about 1,000,000. New Zealand lies about 1,200 miles east of Australia, and is almost exactly the antipodes of Great Britain.
The area of the whole colony is estimated at 78,300,480 acres, or about 50,000 acres less than the United Kingdom, and is, therefore, capable of maintaining a population of at least twenty-five millions. Its natural capabilities are very great, and, allowing for barren hills, bogs, &c., and water surface, there is at least two-thirds, or about 52,000,000 acres, suitable for occupation. Like other countries possessing similar geographical features, New Zealand presents numerous indications of mineral wealth. Copper, silver, and iron, with coal, sulphur, and manganese, have been discovered. Lead-ore, tin-ore, and what is supposed to be nickel, have been detected, and many other riches remain, doubtless, for further exploration. Compared with the geological formation of other auriferous countries, the ranges of New Zealand present very similar characteristics; and it might be fairly argued, from the well-known analogy of natural laws, that they also contained gold, even if we did not know this to be the case. To the emigrant, however, one consideration is paramount above all others: to him a genial and healthy climate is of far more importance than even a soil of extraordinary fertility, than excellent harbours, or vast mineral wealth. The climate of New Zealand is far better adapted to the European constitution than that of any other colony; for in temperature it resembles the most salubrious districts of Europe, modified by its insular character, and the great preponderance of water over land. New Zealand has the mild winters of Australia, without its hot winds and droughts, and the summers and rains of England, without its long dreary winters and severe frosts. The temperature changes as frequently as in England; but, owing to the greater dryness and purity of the atmosphere, the effect is not so injurious. Consumption, and similar affections, are comparatively unknown; and many children who die before reaching adult age in England, would, in all probability, enjoy good health if removed soon enough to New Zealand, which in this respect is superior to Australia, where the infant mortality is excessive. In the north, snow very rarely falls, and in the most southerly districts only
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once or twice during the winter, and usually only for a day or two. In such a climate, all the grains, vegetables, and plants of England succeed; in the north and warmer parts of the Middle Island, some of the productions of semi-tropical climates, such as Indian corn or maize, sweet potatoes, tobacco, &c. Grapes, figs, peaches, melons, and Cape gooseberries, are raised without difficulty in the open air. The seasons are the reverse of those in England; midsummer is in December, and midwinter in June; spring is in September, and autumn in March. The sun is due north at noon, whilst the south is the shady side, and the coldest winds are from that quarter. The whole country is entirely free from wild animals, poisonous snakes, and noxious vermin. Few countries, in comparison with the extent of coast line, are to be compared with New Zealand in the number and excellence of its harbours.
Under the liberal policy which has now for some years been pursued towards the colonial dependencies of the British Empire, New Zealand enjoys representative institutions, and the administration of internal affairs is conducted by the Colonial Government and legislature, except, indeed, as regards native affairs; but these the Colonial Office would now be glad to transfer to the local authorities. The whole colony is governed by the General Assembly, consisting of the Governor, who represents the Crown, the Legislative Council, the members of which are nominated by the Crown for life, and the House of Representatives, which is elected by the people. Each province, however, has a distinct local government, consisting of a Superintendent and Provincial Council, both elected by the people. Resident magistrates hold a court for hearing petty criminal cases, and for civil cases where the amount at issue is under £20, besides quarterly sessions for those in which sums up to £100 are involved. A Court of Quarter Session is held for the trial of all offences except capital felonies, and the Supreme Court is held by circuit, as occasion may require. The amount of crime, as shown by the annual returns, is very small. The religious bodies are unsupported by the State, and each denomination is left to provide its own establishment; and in this respect, owing to the interest originally taken in the colony by the great religious and missionary societies of the mother country, few countries are better provided. The elective franchise is without distinction of race, and is equivalent to household suffrage. Every person qualified to vote in any of the districts of the several provinces can exercise his privilege in the election of Superintendent, members of the Provincial Council, and of the House of Representatives, for the province in which he resides. The qualification which entitles him to vote also entitles him to become a candidate for any or all of these offices.
The Northern Island contains four provinces: Auckland, which is at present the seat of the general Government; Wellington; Hawke's Bay, lately separated from Wellington; and Taranaki, which is better known as New Plymouth. The Middle Island contains five provinces: Nelson; Marlborough, lately separated from Nelson; Canterbury; Otago; and Southland, lately separated from Otago. In 1851 the number of persons of European descent in New Zealand was 26,707; in 1857 they had increased to 49,802. Comparing the returns of 1860 with those of previous years, we find the following results:--
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The new provinces of Marlborough and Southland are included under Nelson and Otago respectively; and for the last two years the returns of Wellington are affected by the separation of Hawke's Hay, whilst those of Taranaki are of course materially reduced by the removal of the women and children to Nelson on account of the war. From this total of 81,273, Dr. Bennett, the Registrar-General, considers that 1,648 ought to be deducted on account of the inter-provincial migrations being erroneously enumerated as foreign arrivals in some of the provinces. This will make the total European population, exclusive of the military and their families, 79,625. In December, 1860, the number of the latter was 3,278 officers and men, with 1,016 women and children, making a general total of 83,919. There has been a considerable influx of emigration into the colony during the last year, especially into Auckland, Canterbury, and Otago. In the latter province, as will be seen hereafter, the population, owing to the "rush" from Australia, attracted by the newly-discovered gold-diggings, has more than doubled.
As the natives are chiefly located in the Northern Island, it is not necessary to refer to them in a pamphlet devoted to Otago, the most remote of all the provinces from the native districts, except to point out that any apprehensions on their account are perfectly groundless. The natives of the Middle Island were, a short time previous to the settlement of the colony, all but totally exterminated by invasions of their brethren of the Northern Island, who, having possession of firearms, easily overpowered them. In consequence, the native title to the land in this island has been easily extinguished, and none of the difficulties which have led to such formidable results in the north can be possibly experienced in the south, whilst the number of aborigines in Otago is under 500, for whom an ample reserve was provided by the Crown on the acquisition of the province.
THE PROVINCE OF OTAGO.
Otago, including the district of Invercargill recently created the Province of Southland, lies at the extreme south of the Middle Island, and is washed on three sides by the Pacific Ocean, whilst on the north it is bounded by the Waitangi River, which separates it from the Province of Canterbury. In this general description it will be more convenient to include Southland, which has not been long enough in existence to have had separate official statistics published, and it must continue to be intimately connected with, and dependent in a great measure upon the progress of Otago. The climate and general features of the two are also identical. The younger province consists of that portion called by the natives Muvihiki, and for electoral purposes known as Wallace County, lying on the west of the River Mataura. The total area is about 300,000 square miles, nearly the same size as Scotland, containing, therefore, about 17,049,600 acres, of which ten millions are estimated as available for agricultural and pastoral purposes. The whole of the Middle Island is traversed by a chain of lofty mountains, varying in altitude from 4,000 to 13,000 feet, and covered with perpetual snow. There are three large lakes in the interior of the province, which also abounds in streams of the purest water. Seven of the largest rivers in the colony flow through its plains. The Waitangi, which forms the northern boundary, takes its rise in Mount Cook, and, passing through the Pukaki Lake, it receives the drainage of the Tekapo and Ohau Lakes, and pursues its course towards the sea through the most favoured pastoral district in the province. The Clutha, which exceeds in volume any river in New Zealand, drains the great central basin, taking its immediate rise in the Hawea and Wanaka Lakes, and rolls its vast volume of cold, clear, blue water towards the east coast, through one of the largest and most fertile valleys in New Zealand. This, now, can easily be made navigable for steamers to Manuherukia Valley, the heart of the pastoral country. The Waiou, the
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next in point of magnitude, also drains the Southern Alps, entering the ocean to the westward of Foveaux Straits. The New River, though inferior in size, is perhaps the most useful in the province, having a harbour at its mouth, where is situated the town of Invercargill, the capital of Southland. The Mataura and Taieri are also navigable, the latter being the outlet for produce grown on the south side of the Taieri Plain, as also of the Waihola and Tokomairiro districts,
Otago was settled under the auspices of the New Zealand Company, by an association of lay members of the Free Church of Scotland, in 1848; but, on the dissolution of the company, the youthful settlement, thanks to the energy of its veteran leader, Captain Cargill (who lived to see its prosperity firmly established, but died just before the discovery of gold had ensured to it a progress more rapid than he could have ever anticipated), supported by the industry and enterprise of all classes of the settlers, was able to maintain its position as an individual province.
There are three harbours on the east coast: the Otago, the New River, and Bluff harbours. The first is that from which the province derives its name. This arm of the sea is fourteen miles long, and is a scene of uncommon beauty. The hills that surround it are of every shape, densely wooded, and of most luxuriant vegetation. The Otago harbour is divided by two islands into an upper and lower harbour, with sand-banks in each of them. The channel in the lower harbour resembles the letter S made the wrong way, as on its side. The tide rises six feet, and covers an area of twenty-six square miles. The tidal flow of this volume of water is through a narrow entrance a quarter of a mile broad. The west coast and its harbours present an aspect altogether different from the eastern. On the former are twelve magnificent harbours, fit for the largest vessels in the world; but beautiful as these harbours are, they are almost useless, from two causes. Many of them are so deep that no ship's cable could reach to the bottom, whilst the range of mountains which skirts the head of the western harbours prevents all access to the interior of the country, as far as is yet known. Mount Cook, named after one of Britain's most distinguished navigators, almost rivals the Alps of Europe in height, attaining, as it does, nearly 13,000 feet of elevation above the sea. Mount Aspiring forms a magnificent spectacle, not only owing to its great altitude, viz., 9,135 feet above the sea, but owing to its bold and symmetrical shape of a steep cone or spire. The mountains in the vicinity of the Wanaka and Hawea Lakes are Black Peak, 7,328 feet; Pesa, 6,426 feet; and Grandview, 4,703 feet above the sea. The Wanaka Lake is 1,036 feet above the same level. The Eyre Mountains rise 6,084 feet, and the Home 4,505 feet above the sea level; Takituna, 4,998 feet; Hamilton, 4,674 feet; Lingwood, 2,602 feet; Ida, 5,498 feet; Kyeburn, 5,129 feet; Rock and Pillaux, 4,675 feet; Benmore, 6,111 feet; Totara Peak, 5,876 feet; St. Cuthbert, 4,962 feet; Mount Cargill is 2,297 feet, and Mihinaka 1,895 feet above the level of the sea.
Dunedin, the capital, stands at the head of Otago harbour, and is almost embosomed by hills. Previous to the discovery of the gold-fields last year, the town was making very satisfactory progress; the main streets were being levelled and metalled, and houses everywhere springing up with a rapidity only seen in the colonies. There is a well appointed jetty, at which small vessels could lie alongside; and Otago had every reason to be proud of the maritime enterprises of its merchants, who possessed quite a fleet of steamers, and maintained a flourishing trade with Melbourne. There were convenient Government offices, churches and chapels belonging to the various denominations, several good hotels, a mechanics' institute, a hospital, and a jail. The houses are mostly built of wood, but there are good stone quarries within a short distance of the town, and the latter material will no doubt soon supplant the former. Port Chalmers is some nine miles from Dunedin, abreast of the anchorage for large ships. Its progress has hitherto been slow, but with its jetty, stores, &c., it is likely to advance in a greater ratio.
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Invercargill, the capital of Southland, is situated at the head of the estuary of the New River, and has already made good progress, and as the outlet of an extensive pastoral district, it will probably become one of the most important towns in the Middle Island. Townships have been laid out at Jacob's River, Redston, Moeraki, Oamani, and other places, which are all of them well worthy of the attention of newly arrived artisans and settlers, as they often do well to prefer a young rising place to one of more mature growth.
Since the discovery of gold, however, a vast change has come over the state of Otago, and during the last six months of 1861, it probably made more progress than during any six years of its brief existence. The reports of the astonishing richness of the Otago diggings created a great furore in Australia, And thousands of diggers, with the usual excitability and erratic propensities of their class, rushed from Sydney and Melbourne, from Adelaide and Hobart Town, to the New Zealand El Dorado. The effect upon the sober and steadygoing inhabitants of Otago may be more easily imagined than described. Accommodation was at a premium, for the inhabitants were fairly taken by storm; but as the success of the diggings was demonstrated, a considerable trade at once springing up to satisfy the multifarious wants of the digging community, merchants and importers soon had their hands full; the pastoral and agricultural interests found a ready market for their surplus produce; real property rose enormously in value; and, in fact, a new and most buoyant order of things was quickly established. At present, therefore, the province is in a transition state, and on a small scale presents many of the features so well known at Melbourne in the palmy days of the Australian gold-fever; but still, in many respects it shows a most favourable contrast. There has not been, and there is not likely to be, any of the extravagances which characterised the orgies of the successful digger in Australia, for he has now learned by experience the fluctuating character of his arduous occupation. There has also been very little serious crime. The local authorities, however, have set themselves actively to work, and although considerably hampered by their dependence upon the central Government at Auckland, their efforts, as far as their means would go, show that they are fully aware of their responsibility; and with the means which will be placed at their disposal by the increasing resources of the province, its progress is certain to be rapid. Already private enterprise is doing much. In a short time Dunedin will undergo a complete transformation; and there is little doubt but that a great deal of capital will be centred in the province, and that its population will be permanently increased, under the impetus which the gold-fields have created. Whether their yield continues for a long or a short time, their influence will have been invaluable, and in either case the province will rapidly settle down to a more normal condition. Meanwhile, as a natural adjunct to increased population and large gold produce, Otago is showing increased progress in all the accessories of rapid colonisation. Its chief town, Dunedin, is growing into a large city, and property commands a high value. Roads are being made into the interior, and lines of coaches traverse places where, at one time, it was matter of difficulty for a horseman to pursue his way. The inland navigation of the rivers is being developed, and agricultural and pastoral pursuits have been greatly stimulated by the augmented population. Railways and telegraphs from the port to Dunedin, and from the latter to the interior, are already talked of, and will no doubt soon be realised. The year 1861 dates a new era in the annals of Otago. It witnessed the discovery of its rich gold-fields, and the sudden conversion of a quiet, thinly populated agricultural and pastoral province into the scene of the busy industry of thousands of eager gold-miners, and of the extensive trade which invariably and of necessity attends on the presence of a large population. To the province of Otago the year 1861 has indeed been an annus mirabilis, a year of surprise and of unexpected good fortune. It has brought to it wealth, population, and all the elements of progress, and has raised Otago to a proud position among the
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provinces of New Zealand, a position which can only be forfeited by her own fault or negligence, and which all who have the interests of the province at heart should exert themselves to maintain.
POPULATION, REVENUE, SOCIETY, &c.
The official statistics show the progress Otago has made during the year, from which it appears that, at the end of 1860, the estimated population of Otago, including Southland, was 12,691 souls, which number, by the addition of the excess of persons who have arrived during the year over those who have departed, is swelled up to 28,310. It must not be supposed that these are mainly on the gold-fields. The census just taken shows a population of under 12,000 on the gold-fields, but the sub-enumerators consider 4,000 more should be added for those whose names they could not collect. The total number of arrivals during the year is 21,848, and of departures 6229. Of the arrivals, over 14,000 are from Victoria, 862 from New South Wales, and 1,834 from Great Britain. Of the departures, 3,829 are to Victoria, and 348 to New South Wales.
The tonnage entering the port during the year is set down at 114,727 tons, from 417 ships, against 69 vessels the previous year, showing a tonnage of 24,721. The import duties during the year amount to £69,737 5s. 2d., against £28,708 1s. 2d. the previous year. The exports of gold have amounted to 187,695 ozs. 9 dwts.; the export duty, £23,461 19s. 10d
The statement of inland revenue for the year shows the following results:-- Deposits on application for rural lands, £59,831; auction sales, town lands, £7,000; fees on depasturing licences, £2,151; assessment on stock, £2,489; timber licences, £412; fees on transfer of rural certificates, £235; premium on application for depasturing licences, £66; forfeited deposits, £740; gold-fields miners' rights, business licences, &c., £12,926; interest on bank accounts, £73: making a total for the year of £85,932 16s. 8d
Referring now to the item of Customs' duties, it appears that in 1860 the total amount received at the port of Dunedin was £28,708 1s. 2d., and at Invercargill £3,061 16s. 5d., making a total for the province of £31,769 17s. 1d. In 1861, at the port of Dunedin alone, the following amounts have been received
£ s. d.
2,792 6 8
2,415 7 0
2,563 9 10
3,743 17 2
2,823 1 2
2,321 9 7
2,450 5 1
3,721 3 6
7,593 7 10
13,607 15 5
12,933 12 3
12,771 9 8
£69,737 5 2
Otago having been first colonised from Scotland, and a constant communication having been kept up between the settlers and their friends at home, whom they induced to come out in increasing numbers, it is not surprising that the bulk of the population should be Scotch; but there are numbers of families from every part of Great Britain, and it is good that it is so, as the mixture of two fine races always produces a finer. There is no distinction made as to
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what part of the kingdom a man comes from; all who are willing to work and cast in their lot with the inhabitants receive a most hearty welcome. The careful selection of emigrants at home, and the advantages derived from having church and school planted with the first settlers, have put a most favourable impress on the population. Crime is almost unknown. There is no want of society, and people are much more sociable than in Britain. There are balls at which amiable parents sacrifice themselves to attend upon the youthful members of their household; concerts, soirees, pic-nics, excursions, races, lectures, ploughing matches, horticultural shows, and a library; indeed, nearly every amusement exists that can be obtained in provincial towns in Great Britain. For the present at least, there is not that disproportion between the ranks of society as in Britain. It must be understood that these remarks refer to the ordinary state of society. National distinctions were already being fast obliterated, and, under the late increase of the population, would be impossible.
The Presbyterians are the most numerous religious community in the settlement. The Church of Otago is composed of members of all Presbyterian bodies, and others, such as independents, Methodists, Baptists, &c., who can worship with them. There are ministers settled at various points in towns and country; and additional ones are sent for as required, from Scotland. A presbytery is held twice a year. There are several congregations belonging to the Church of England. The Bishop of Christchurch visits Otago every six months.
The provision made for education is on a very extensive scale. Schools are now planted in all the agricultural and some of the pastoral districts. These are supported mostly by the Government, assisted by the school fees, which are from 6s. to 10s. per quarter. A quantity of land has been reserved for educational purposes.
The grand feature of the climate of Otago is its mild and uniform temperature. The summers are as far removed from the heat of Australia as the winters are from the cold of Canada. Three causes combine to produce this uniformity; viz., the latitude, prevailing winds, length and breadth of the Middle Island, and its mountains. The latitude and longitude of New Zealand correspond to that of France and Spain, and the inhabitants of Otago are the antipodes of those who live in the south of France. The town of Dunedin is three degrees nearer the equator than Paris, yet the mean temperature of both places is nearly the same. The absence of the extremes of heat and cold appears to depend upon the size of the island, and the prevailing winds. The Middle Island is 500 miles long by 150 broad; and lying, as it does, in a slanting direction across eight degrees of longitude and six degrees of latitude, the easterly and westerly gales are intercepted, and are bent to the shape of the coast, and hence north-east and south-west winds are those which prevail, and communicate to the land the equable temperature of the Pacific Ocean. It is a remarkable phenomenon, that when the wind blows from the snowy mountains (N.W.), it is always warm, and is the sure forerunner of a south-wester. The N.W. wind blows on an average one day in each month, and is sometimes accompanied by lightning. The mildness of the winter is such, that the farmer would prefer more frost to destroy the weeds; but this, again, is counterbalanced by other advantages, such as breaking up new land when the ground is moist, and carrying on all kinds of out-door work as in summer.
MINERAL RESOURCES. --GOLD, &c.
The gold-fields of Otago, which now promise to promote the development of its resources in so rapid a manner, deserve a separate description; but, in other
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respects, the province is rich in mineral wealth. Coal is very generally distributed, and is found frequently of very fair quality, notwithstanding that the surface coal only has yet been taken out. Coal and lignite are found on either slope of the Kurau and Kakanui Mountains and the Horse Range. These are numerously exposed to view also in the various river-beds. In the districts of the Lower Taieri, Tokomairiro, Clutha, Pomahawk, and Mataura are also found deposits of these valuable contributions to the future wealth of the province. Limestone is met with in abundance on the Maruwhenna, Waireka, Awamoko, Kakanui, and Shag rivers; it is also to be found near Dunedin, at Waihola Lake, in Wairau, Oraisea, Apairama, and Mataura rivers. Flag-stones and roofing-slates are found in Maruwhenna and Kakanui. This, however, is a mere superficial view of the mineral formations in the province; further survey, especially in the districts approaching the mountains along the western coast, cannot fail to lead to the discovery of further treasures now hidden in the bowels of the earth, as the natural indications are most favourable.
We now proceed to give a description of the gold-fields, which our limits necessarily oblige to be very cursory and general, more especially as the arrival of every mail brings the intelligence of the discovery of new diggings, more or less remunerative. The existence of gold in the province has long been known, but it was not until early in 1861 that workable and remunerative diggings were actually proved to exist within its limits, one or two notorious false alarms having led to the somewhat premature but not unnatural conclusion that a New Zealand gold-field, if not a deceptive ignis fatuus, was not worth attention in comparison with the richer districts of Australia and California. Early last spring, however, the real character of the Otago diggings was satisfactorily established, and the mining population of Australia, with their usual erratic propensities, ever on the alert to "rush" to a new scene of action, at once commenced an invasion on a scale which, whilst it gratified, no little alarmed the sober and steady settlers in Otago. Thousands poured in in a few weeks, and although many returned who came with more haste than good speed, a large proportion remained, and, as the returns will show, have done well.
THE PRINCIPAL GOLD-FIELDS HITHERTO DISCOVERED.
Tuapeka is situated at a distance of about fifty miles from Dunedin; and the digger bound for the scene of the gold-workings can proceed either by road (soft and almost impassable in winter, but convenient enough in summer) or by water, and by the River Clutha, to within a distance of twelve miles of the diggings. The main seat of operations is described as a long, narrow valley, where the sinking is shallow, gold being found at a depth of a couple of feet, though some shafts have been sunk about twenty-five feet, and gold found at that depth. The prospecting that has followed upon the arrival of experienced diggers from Victoria has opened up payable workings in various gullies far from the original scene of the gold discovery; and so far the gold obtained is small, scaly, and fine. That quartz reefs bearing gold may yet be discovered is very possible, and the field may thus be found a permanent one; but we must warn intending emigrants at home that long before they can reach the scene the richest treasures of Tuapeka will have fallen into the hands of those experienced diggers who are now crowding to the scene. The working has been by "paddocking" the bottom, a blue slate, the washdirt not unlike the gravel found at the Ovens. Old Californians speak of the similarity of Tuapeka to California, and the gold is certainly not unlike. They say the country has all "the appearance of silver," and we are much mistaken if both silver and quicksilver are not obtained before long in the high ranges of the interior of the province. There is a remarkable absence of quartz at Tuapeka, and there is none to be seen on the surrounding ranges; and either the gold owns a
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different matrix, or, what is more likely--indeed, quite certain--it has come down a long distance from the heads of the streams fed by constant snow. To the heads of the streams the prospector should betake himself; but it is to be feared few will be able to endure the rigour of the climate amongst the snow-clad mountains. That very rich gold deposits do exist in the island is not to be doubted: traces of gold are to be met with in almost every one of the countless streams that run through it, and the same indications have been found on the ocean shore. It is probable that second "bottoms," or courses of gold, will be found.
The Watahuna gold-field is nine miles nearer to Dunedin than Tuapeka, and is situated on an extensive flat.
Gold has also been found in various localities without any difficulty, extending from the Lindis to the Hawea.
The character of the rock in the Lindis is a soft blue slate, plentifully intersected with small veins of quartz, evidently the matrix of the gold; a pipeclay also exhibits itself on the banks of the river. This description of strata commences near Passburn Creek, extending down the Lindis to the Lake country; from thence, it is stated, the same description of rock extends over a large extent of mountainous country, to the westward of the Molyneux and south of the Wakatip. (May not the westward of the watershed of these ranges be the source also of the gold found in the Mataura?) Three years ago, on crossing the Dunstan Mountains into the Manuherikia, it was observed that this range was also of the same description of slate; and as gold is found in the Manuherikia River, it is quite possible the gold-field extends into that locality. In the event of the localities noted proving a rich gold-field, an agricultural population might settle down to supply the wants of the miners, the land in the Molyneux and Manuherikia being of first-rate quality, and beautifully grassed. Manukau scrub of good size is met with on the Lindis,, and forests of birch on the hills at the sources of the Lindis. At the Hawea Lake also pine and birch exist in abundance, and forests of timber to the westward of the Wanaka and Wakatip Lakes, which may be found to be accessible. Coal also is found in the Waitaki and in the Manuherikia. The gold met with on the Lindis and Hawea is both nuggety and scaly; nuggets of the size of horse-beans have been found.
Other diggings have been tried at Waipori, Evans' Gully, Watahuna, and in many other localities, with more or less success; but we have already sufficiently indicated the general auriferous features of the province. The value of the gold brought down by escort, from July 12 to December 31, 1861, was 206,445 ounces, valued at £826,000; but no doubt a large quantity was brought down privately. The quantity exported, or upon which duty was paid during the same period, was 187,695 ounces.
The following is a table of the distances to the diggings by the East Paieri Road, and between the various houses of accommodation:--
Dunedin to Goodall's
10 1/2 do
" Paireri Ferry (Dyer's)
" Pokomairiro (Goodall's).
Dunedin to McGregor's
" Murray's via Waitahuna River
" Gabriel's Gully
Waitahuna to Weatherstone's
AGRICULTURE AND STOCK FARMING.
Otago has a great future in store for it. The plentiful supply of water from end to end, its great pastoral and agricultural capabilities, must make it
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very prosperous, independently of its mineral resources. And when these are estimated--when it is considered that, although possibly limited in number, there are some richly auriferous tracts of land, which must afford employment for a lengthened period, and that other metals and minerals are most likely to be discovered, we cannot be wrong in predicting that Otago is destined to occupy a prominent position amongst the provinces of New Zealand.
As a general rule, a large capital cannot be invested profitably in agricultural farming in colonies, owing to the high rate of wages, and the low price of produce; but labouring men who have saved some money, or those who have been small farmers in England, will find agriculture an extremely profitable business. For capitalists, sheep or cattle are a better investment than agriculture; but if all the available country has been leased out, a new comer might have to wait some time before he could obtain a run (or station), by purchase from some previous occupant. For those who do not require an immediate return, rural or town land would be a very profitable investment in the long run. The price of land has recently been raised to £1 per acre.
The land is naturally divided into agricultural and pastoral. That most suitable for agricultural purposes can be purchased, in any part of the province, at the low price of one pound per acre. Flax and grass land can be got in any quantity, and is the only kind cultivated now; it is cleared at a much less outlay than bush land. Flax land is prepared for the plough at from twenty-five to thirty shillings per acre; grass land at fifteen shillings. We are here speaking of ordinary times. Prices may now be higher, but will probably soon find their level. The cost of fencing for the last five years has varied according to the vicinity of a wood, and the supply of labour, and may be reckoned at from 12s. to 21s. per chain of sixty-six feet. The most common fencing in Otago is a ditch four feet wide, a turf dike two and a half feet high, and two rails on the top. In the town, split paling only is used. Wire fencing has also been introduced.
The soil of the province of Otago is excellent, and well adapted to the cultivation of grain of all kinds. Its depth, however, cannot be judged of by the height of the crops grown, as flax has been found growing ten feet high upon a soil not more than six inches in depth, and luxuriant crops of wheat have been raised from soil five inches deep. The climate of Otago is the real source of its fertility, and when the soil is exposed to its influence for six months it yields a much greater crop. Inch Clutha, Waikouaiti, and other localities, have rich soil from two to three feet deep, which yields forty-six bushels per acre, and has a growth of such strength that it is cut three feet above the ground, in order to save the threshing-mill. The heaviest timber in the colony grows upon Inch Clutha, an island seven miles long, in the centre of the Clutha River, with fine natural scenery.
The soil and climate thus combine to promote production in Otago. Everything that grows in England grows there; and some things grow in the garden in Otago that will not grow in the open air at home. The strawberry, raspberry, gooseberry, red, white, and black currant, bear profusely; the latter springs like a weed, and cuttings of it will sometimes bear fruit the same year they are put in. Cherries, pears, and apples do well; the latter come to great perfection and flavour. The plum tribe will bear well; but peaches and apricots require a wall against which to ripen. In the interior, where the summer heat is greater, it is probable that not only these latter will bear as standards, but that even the grape itself may ripen in the open air. One pleasing feature in Otago farming is the increasing breadth of turnip culture; the result shows itself in the improved condition of the working bullocks in the winter, and in the fine crops succeeding.
The grazing capabilities of Otago would alone put her in a leading place among the settlements of New Zealand. The progeny of sheep, cattle, and horses imported from Australia increase in size, and improve in stamina. The weight of wool on the same sheep increases from 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 lbs., being longer in
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the staple and softer in the texture; qualities that are raising the price of New Zealand wool in the London market, and causing it to be sought after. There is no break in the fibre. Pasture is not burnt up with heat in the summer, nor killed with cold in the winter. So little does the season affect the growth of wool, that sheep strayed at shearing time have been left over until next year, when a double fleece is taken from them.
All sorts of live stock do remarkably well on the natural grasses and herbage of the country, are kept out of doors all winter without artificial food or shelter, and are very free from disease, except scab in sheep, which has been introduced from Van Diemen's Land and the other provinces of New Zealand. The remedies commonly used are strong tobacco water, in which the sheep are dipped, and spirits of tar, with which the diseased parts of the sheep are spotted. In this way the disease can be kept under so far as to prevent the fleece from being broken, and the wool from being injured; but it takes off considerably from the profits of sheep-farming. The plains and downs are very dry and sound, so that foot-rot is almost unknown. The sheep are of the colonial Merino breed, imported from Australia. Owing to a more temperate climate, the wool grown in New Zealand is stronger and longer in staple than that from Australia, but is at present inferior in fineness of fibre. This inferiority is, however, fast being removed, by improving the breed by the importation of pure-bred Merino rams and ewes from Germany and Australia.
The autumn is the most convenient time for lambing, as there are then no small lambs in the way at shearing time. The largest increase and the strongest lambs are, however, thought to be obtained by spring lambing. Settlers commencing with a small flock of ewes, allow them to lamb at any season of the year, and sometimes have three lambings in two years. The usual increase is about 80 or 90 per cent., but sometimes more. There has been known an increase of 220 per cent., from the same ewes within twenty months. The profits of sheep-farming depend very much upon the scale on which it is carried on. The expense of first forming a station is considerable, and for the settler commencing with only 500 or 1,000 ewes, it is up-hill work for several years. Beyond his increase, the owner will get little, if any profit, after paying all expenses, until his flock amounts to 5,000. With that number and upwards he may expect to obtain a yearly profit of 25 per cent., under ordinary circumstances, from the wool and increase together. If his flock gets the scab, of course the profit will be much lessened; though if the disease is kept down by frequent dressings, some profit may still bo obtained.
The most suitable cattle runs are those which are too wet and rich for sheep. Cows yield much more milk than in Australia, and the butter and cheese are also superior in quality. The cattle are of the usual mixed breed, common in Australia, from whence they have been imported, but are being much improved by the importations from England and Australia.
OPENINGS FOB EMIGRANTS.
New Zealand has for some years attracted the best of the emigrants from Great Britain, if not the most; but there is no colony which presents greater inducements to all classes, and at the present time Otago affords superior opportunities to any of the other provinces. Persons of large capital will here find ample employment for it whilst the small farmer, the mechanic, and the labourer, will do far better than in the bleaker regions of Canada, and the bare prairies of the Western States. With industry and sobriety, the artisan or labourer soon becomes his own master, landowner, or farmer; and some of the most wealthy men are those who landed a few years since without any capital beyond that which is most valuable--individual labour, coupled with
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energy, sobriety, and industry. With a working man in England a large family is often a social calamity; in New Zealand a large family proves a source of ultimate wealth. Labourers earning the wages prevailing in the colonies at the dullest times speedily leave off working for others, and buy a cow, a pair of bullocks and a plough--buy a section of fifty acres for £25, put up a small cot--to serve as a barn, when a better house can be afforded--and a start is made.
Persons not accustomed to labour should be possessed of some capital. Gentlemen without a profession or capital are the most unsuitable. Families of the middle class, accustomed to the comforts of an English home, but reduced in circumstances, must feel the privations of a new country, but a family emigrating with £5000 and upwards would not have to experience any privations worth speaking of, but might be comfortably settled from the first, as, even without engaging in any business, this sum would insure an income of £500 a year, if invested on good security at the ordinary rate of colonial interest. It must, however, be borne in mind, that owing to the high rate of wages, and difficulty in getting good domestic servants, even wealthy settlers will experience many discomforts and inconveniences. For new comers without previous knowledge of mercantile transactions--with, say, from £2000 to £3000--cattle and sheep will probably be found the safest and most profitable investment. Those who understand the breeding of horses may profitably invest part of their money in this business. Horses bred for the cart or plough pay best. Cattle and sheep breeders, near the towns, obtain a fair value for meat, tallow, and hides, and also high prices for young oxen broken for draught. Sheep farms or runs are now difficult to obtain, as all the available pastoral country has been leased out; but the goodwill or lease of a station may be purchased, or arrangements entered into with the holder (who may be anxious to retire, as is often the case) upon advantageous terms.
A flock of from 800 to 1000 ewes is required to commence a self-supporting station on an adequate scale. Those who cannot afford this outlay, and to reserve sufficient to cover contingencies, should place their sheep at some respectable station; one-third of the increase is the usual payment. Cattle-breeding, connected with dairy-farming near towns, will generally be attended with less risk than that of sheep, and it is more suited to the means of a small capitalist. Young men unacquainted with colonial management should acquire experience on a station of some old colonist, before they invest their money.
Capital may be profitably laid out, by those who are present to look over it, at from 12 to 25 per cent., on security in land or houses. It is easy, with sufficient local experience, to make from 50 to 100 per cent, by buying and selling town, suburban, or country sections of land. People emigrating to engage in trade, without a previous knowledge of colonial requirements, should rather take out money than goods. It would also be well for people of small capital, unacquainted with colonial trade, to attach themselves to some old house, prior to engaging in trade on their own account.
Emigrants without capital will, if sober and economical, and willing to work at any one trade, as boatmen, shepherds, farm or house servants, soon realise sufficient to render themselves independent. Carpenters, brickmakers, stonemasons, shinglers, and boatbuilders, earn large sums, and so also do domestic servants. Women servants of all sorts are well paid, and many are required. Those who are least able to earn a comfortable livelihood in a new colony are clerks, and young men who have been brought up in idleness at home.
Almost everything necessary to comfort and convenience may now be procured in the towns, but not always of the best quality. House-rent and servants' wages are at least double what they are in England. But there are no taxes, rates, or dues of any kind. Clothing of all kinds is, of course, dearer in New Zealand than in England; but wine, spirits, and groceries are, for the most part, cheaper. Bread and butchers' meat are about the same.
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Agricultural implements can be got in the colony, all at least that are required for first operations; but to those who intend farming immediately, a good swing-plough and Scotch coup-cart (pony size) will not come amiss. Many take out a quantity of implements that they do not require, or are not suitable. The same remark will apply to bulky articles of furniture, though it is both scarce and dear in Otago; but bedding, and all household things that will pack easily, should be taken. Tradesmen should take a good stock of tools; and some, such as shoemakers or tailors, the furnishings they require in their crafts; but it is unsafe to take anything in the hope of selling it at a profit, as in so limited a market there is an equal chance of making a loss.
As to the system of farming, and the method of going about it, the observation that an intelligent man will make during a few days' travel will be of more service to him than the contents of volumes on the subject. Wooden houses are obtainable anywhere by those who can afford to pay for them; but for economy and warmth, sod huts, or houses formed by upright poles, wattled, and plastered with clay, or what is better still, solid walls of puddled clay, are the materials mostly used in a first structure. The roof is either iron, shingles, or thatch. There is no difficulty in getting a house up, and the emigrant is not left to his own ingenuity, as labourers skilled in such work can always be obtained to assist and put new-comers in the way.
VOYAGE AND OUTFIT.
The voyage to Otago, even by the best ships, cannot be estimated at less than three months. Nearly all the New Zealand emigration vessels depart from the Port of London. It is only right to caution the emigrant from engaging a passage via Melbourne or Sydney, as he would thereby ensure for himself great disappointment, vexatious delay, and enhanced expense. The only proper course is to engage by a vessel sailing direct from London to the colony of Otago. It can be of no possible interest to the editor to commend or condemn any particular line of packets, but it is necessary for the due protection of the emigrant, in the essential matter of choosing a ship, to state that there are various classes of vessels carrying passengers to this as well as to other emigration colonies, and that a certain amount of caution is requisite to select the best. It is only fair to state that the owners of one of these lines of vessels have for many years conducted the passenger business with liberality, promptness, and due regard to the comfort of those who commit themselves to their charge.
The emigrant can make no mistake in this respect, if he avoids the well puffed ships showily decked out in dock to tempt the unwary, but whose unfortunate passengers endure the contrast of misery and injustice on the voyage. In the engagement of your passage deal only with the authorised ship-broker, and not with any "agency" office whatever. Scandalous impositions are frequently practised at these offices, and it would be to the interest of all respectable ship-brokers and ship-owners to repudiate the presumed agency of this class of persons.
RATES OF PASSAGE, BY MESSES. WILLIS, GANN AND Co.'s LINE OF PACKETS.
(ALL PROVISIONS INCLUDED.)
CHIEF CABIN FARE, LOWER DECK--For Two Persons in the same Cabin
Ditto, ditto For One Person occupying the whole Cabin
Poop Cabins by agreement.
SECOND CABIN FARE--Enclosed Cabins
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|STEERAGE--Enclosed Berths, separate Cabins for married couples
|Ditto Open Berths
Children under twelve yearS to pay one-half Passage Money. Infants under one year no charge.
(Some reduction made in these rates for family parties arranging for passage early.)
LIST OF PROVISIONS, LIVE STOCK, POULTRY, GROCERY, STORES, &c.,
Issued for each adult (twelve years of age) passenger per week--two children between one year and twelve counting as one adult.
In addition to the stores and provisions specified in this list, the saloon table is supplied with live stock, &c., of the finest procurable quality, in the following proportions, viz.:-- for every twelve passengers (two children between one year and twelve counting as one passenger), three prime wether sheep, one dozen store pigs, and twelve dozen poultry, together with an abundant supply of curry and sauces, preserved fruits for puddings and pastry, and a plain daily dessert.
N. B. --If required for young children and infants, the surgeon will substitute sago, flour, rice, raisins, sugar, and suet, for meat or other stores.
[List of provisions]
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The custom of the Crosby Square packets publishing a "bill of fare" for the saloon as well as for the second and fore cabins, is one which has been adopted mainly for the benefit and protection of saloon or chief cabin passengers; for it enables them to see what provisions they have a right to demand that the ship shall supply; and it virtually gives them a guarantee that sufficient provisions for the voyage are at least put on board, inasmuch as the quantity provided is calculated to last for a period nearly one-half longer than that occupied by an average passage--an assurance not always to be relied on when vessels are advertised to the public by passage brokers and emigration agents, as giving what they vaguely style an "Indiaman's table," or an "unlimited table."
Provisions of the best quality are put on board, according to the above scale, for twenty-two weeks; together with an abundant supply of extra stores as "medical comforts," for passengers generally. The quantity and quality of all provisions are subject to a strict examination by the Government Emigration Officer, and the same inspection is made of the passengers' berths, insuring ample accommodation and perfect ventilation.
REGULATIONS OF THE LINE.
1. PAYMENT OF PASSAGE MONEY. --Each passenger pays half the amount on engaging his cabin, and the remainder in London or Plymouth before embarking.
2. CHIEF CABIN PASSENGERS provide their own bed places, bedding and fittings for their private cabins; but the owners of the ship provide everything requisite for the table, such as plate, linen, glass, attendance, &c.
3. SECOND CABIN AND STEERAGE PASSENGERS have berths built for them in their respective compartments of the ship; but find their own bedding, and any extra cabin fittings which they may require. They must also provide themselves with, at least, the following table utensils:-- Knives and forks, one or two deep metal plates and dishes, spoons, a hook teapot, cups and saucers, or metal drinking vessels, and a water can. The provisions are daily prepared by the cooks of the ship; but intermediate as well as steerage passengers make their own arrangements for messing.
4. OUTFIT. --Beds, or good new mattresses (the latter are preferable), should be of these dimensions:-- Men's, 6 feet by 20 inches; women's, 5 feet by 18 inches; married couples', 6 feet by 36 inches. Two pillows, two blankets, four sheets, and one counterpane, should be provided for every bed.
5. LIQUORS. --Wines, beer, &c., of the best quality, are provided at the following prices:-- Port and sherry, 3s. 6d.; ale and porter, 10d.; spirits, 3s.; brandy, 3s. 6d. per bottle; but for the strict preservation of order in the ship, the quantity so supplied will be under the regulation of the commander. No private supply allowed to be taken in the cabins.
6. PASSENGERS' LUGGAGE. --Chief cabin and intermediate passengers carry half a ton, and steerage passengers a quarter of a ton measurement of luggage in the hold (besides such effects as they can properly take in their private cabins) free of charge; the remainder, if any, is paid for at the current rate of freight. A ship's measurement ton is 40 cubic feet.
Messrs. Monnery and Co., of Fenchurch Street, will forward to any applicant a detailed list of prices of every necessary article of outfit, either for the steerage or cabin passenger.
The Otago Emigration Society dispatch, occasionally, vessels from the Clyde, with Government emigrants. Full particulars may be obtained on application to the Secretary, at the office in Edinburgh.
The Oriental Bank, Threadneedle Street, as agents for the Bank of New Zealand, grant letters of credit payable in the colony, in exchange for cash deposited in London. The Bank of New South Wales has established agencies in the principal places in New Zealand.
The Otago newspapers are filed at Mr. Algar's Colonial Newspaper Office, 11, Clement's Lane, City.
London: Adams & Gee, Printers, Middle-Street, West Smithfield. E.C.
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THE PAMPHLETS, &c., named below are published by Mr. F. ALGAR, 11, Clement's Lane: postage stamps received in payment.
NEW SOUTH WALES, With Map, 21 pages, Price 6d., post free 7d.
VICTORIA--Price 6d., post free 7d.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA--6d., post free 7d.
TASMANIA--Price 6d., post free 7d.
QUEENSLAND--Price 3d., post free 4d.
AUCKLAND--New and enlarged edition, 5d., post free 6d.
WELLINGTON--Price 4d., post free 5d.
CANTERBURY, N. Z. --4d., post free 5d.
NELSON, N. Z. --Price 4d., post free 5d.
NEW ZEALAND BRADSHAW--Price 6d., post free 7d.
OTAGO AND SOUTHLAND--Price 4d., post free 5d.
CAPE OF GOOD HOPE, With Map, 6d., post free 7d.
SETTLER'S GUIDE TO CAPE AND NATAL--Price 3s. 6d, post free 3s. 8d.
VANCOUVER ISLAND AND BRITISH COLUMBIA, With Map, Price 4d., post free 5d.
HO! FOR THE WEST!! --6d., post free 7d,
CANADIAN SETTLER'S GUIDE--Published by Authority; price, post free, 5s.
CANADIAN HOUSEKEEPERS' GUIDE-- Price 2s. post free.
CANADA, THE LAND OF HOPE--Third Edition, revised to Dec., 1861, with Map, Price 3d., post free 4d.
NATAL--By Dr. Mann; 5s., post free 5s. 4d.
NATAL--By Dr. Mann; with Map, 24 pages, price 3d., post free 4d.
GUIDE TO THE COLONY OF PORT NATAL--By J. Cullingworth; price 2s., post free 2s. 2d.
EMIGRANT'S GUIDE BOOK TO PORT NATAL--By J. Arbuthnot; 2s, post free 2s. 2d.
THE CANADIAN NEWS, NEW BRUNSWICK HERALD, AND British Columbian Intelligencer.
Published in London every Thursday.
This Journal has been established for the purpose of informing the English Public respecting the Progress of the vast Possessions of British North America, their capabilities, advantages, and resources.
Special Correspondence is received from the principal places in Canada, Vancouver, and British Columbia, and Original Articles are given on Current Colonial Topics.
Price 3d., post free 4d., per annum 17s. 4d. Post-office Orders to be made payable to Mr. F. ALGAR, 11, Clement's Lane.
THE OTAGO COLONIST,
Published every Friday,
At DUNEDIN, N. Z.
Advertisements and Subscriptions received by F. ALGAR, 11, Clement's Lane, Lombard Street, London.
THE OTAGO WITNESS
DUNEDIN, Every Saturday.
Subscriptions and Advertisements received at Mr. ALGAR'S COLONIAL NEWSPAPER OFFICE, 11, Clement's Lane, E.C.
THE OTAGO DAILY TIMES
is issued Daily at the Office,
Advertisements, &c. received by F. ALGAR, 11, Clement's Lane, Lombard Street.
THE AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND GAZETTE.
Published in London every Saturday, also a Mail Edition issued on Arrival of the Overland Mails.
A Weekly Summary of News from New South Wales, Victoria, South and West Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand.
Post free 6d., per annum £1 6s.
The "Australian and New Zealand Gazette" has been established Thirteen Years, and during that period has acquired a character for the truthfulness of its statements respecting the Australian Colonies. It has especially avoided all glowing eulogiums in respect of any particular Colony, but has sought to give to each a fair statement of their respective advantages, without sacrificing truth or independence.
Orders to be made payable to MR. FREDERIC ALGAR, Proprietor,
Office--11, CLEMENT'S LANE, LOMBARD ST.
COLONIAL NEWSPAPER AGENCY.
ADVERTISEMENTS and Subscriptions are received for NEWSPAPERS published in
CAPE OF GOOD HOPE,
PRINCE EDWARD'S ISLAND,
WEST INDIA ISLANDS.
By the undersigned sole Agent,
F. ALGAR, 11, CLEMENT'S LANE, LOMBARD STREET, E.C.
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WILLIS, GANN & CO.'S LINE.
First-class Clipper Ships, sailing regularly for
AUCKLAND, HAWKE'S BAY, WELLINGTON, TARANAKI, NELSON, MARLBOROUGH, CANTERBURY, OTAGO.
The Packets of this Line, constructed on the best models of combined speed and strength, have been selected to convey to the Colony many times the number of Chief Cabin, Intermediate, and Steerage Passengers carried by any competing Liverpool or London ships. The arrangements as to cabin accommodation, light, and ventilation, are carefully studied; the stores and provisions furnished for the Fore and Second Cabin compartments are of the best procurable quality; whilst the Saloon is supplied with a table equal to that of a first-class Indiaman.
They carry full and efficient crews, and duly qualified Surgeons (the latter generally family men going out to settle in the Colony), and are commanded by experienced officers of the Line, most of whom, having made numerous trips to New Zealand, have been trained up in those habits of kindness and attention to Passengers which prove so conducive to the pleasantness of the voyage, and to the comfort of all on board.
To the Province of Canterbury, New Zealand.
"FREE GRANTS OF LAND,"
From 40 to 500 Acres, in the Province of Auckland, New Zealand.
N. B. --Some hundreds of people have already re-emigrated from America and Australia, to New Zealand.
Just Published, Seventh Edition, with new Coloured Map, and sent for Six Stamps.
THE NEW ZEALAND HANDBOOK,
Giving a full description of the whole Colony, and the latest practical information on every New Zealand subject needed by the Capitalist-Emigrant and the Working Man.
Upwards of 18,000 copies of this little work have already been called for.